Sacred Fire, Holy Earth: Beltane 2014
Today is the cross-quarter point that for millennia has been celebrated throughout the Celtic World as Beltane, a festival of life’s fertility. It’s the halfway point between two of the four great energetic hinges, or quarter points, of the year:
- the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun crosses the Aries Point and life begins anew, and
- the Summer Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day, when the Sun enters the first degree of Cancer.
Although many celebrate Beltane on May 1, the potency of the relationship between the Sun, the Earth, and the Galactic Center becomes exact when our star’s ecliptic longitude reaches 45 degrees. This year, that’s today.
The mysteries that Beltane celebrates are elemental — the sacred mysteries of masculine fire and the feminine earth. Throughout the ages, on hilltops and mountaintops, fires have been lit at Beltane. They call to the sacred fire that is our Star. They burn away the toxic influences of the old cycle and re-kindle the fires of hearth. Across Europe, trees were decorated with the shells and flowers that are sacred to Venus, and sometimes they too were burned in the bonfires at the festival’s end.
At its deepest levels, the Taurus festival of Beltane celebrates the outer expression of the mysteries that take place in the invisible realm in Taurus’ complementary sign of Scorpio: the transformative, life-renewing rites of fertility, sexuality, and renewal. Tonight those mysteries burn within you.
This Beltane is a special one. From its Beltane position in Taurus, sign of the fertile Earth, the Sun is contacting each of the planets in the Grand Cross. Only Pluto, the ruler of next week’s Full Moon, remains in the degree of the Goddess, 13. However, while the Cross is no longer exact, it is still active. And today, the Sun brings the mystery and magic of Beltane into the Cross — trining Pluto, opposing Jupiter, semi-sextiling Uranus, and quincunxing Mars, with potent star power.
Beltane is always first and foremost a celebration of the life-renewing fertility of the Cosmic Feminine. The presence of Pluto, ruler of the mysteries of transformation and consort of Persephone / Proserpina, in the Goddess’ degree tells us that this year, the Beltane mysteries are full of special potency — in the Cosmos within us and in the Cosmos without us.
Light a Beltane fire tonight — whether a candle flame or a blazing bonfire. Feel the Earth beneath your feet. Ask the blessing of the great goddess of life before you sleep. Join the timeless, sacred dance of life and its endless regeneration taking place within you.
The Mysteries Continue: On to a First Quarter Moon in Leo
This year’s Beltane comes on the eve of the pivot point in the lunar cycle that began last week with a solar eclipse in Taurus. For more on that, read on!